Hammertoes: Diagnosis And Treatment

A hammertoe or hallux abductovalgus is a common name for a crooked leg. Hammertoes caused by arthritis, genetics,  poor-fitting shoes, or feet are either too high arched or flat.

You can not change genetics, and in most cases, you can not prevent arthritis. You can, however, wear the right shoes (which do not crowd the toes and more boxy than tapered). You can also visit a podiatrist for treatment of hammertoes or hallux abductovalgus in Towson.

If you have high-arched feet or flat, you may be able to slow or stop the progression of deformity hammertoes. Think toes as a straight balanced hinge at the top and bottom of the tendon. If your arch is high, there can be a steep drop off in front of the foot. Which will create more tension on the tendons that stretch the toes up? When that happens, the tendon on the bottom responds by pulling down.

This "tug of war" then causes the toes to buckle in the hinges, forming what is called hammertoes. Conversely, flat feet cause the tendons down the legs, to the arch, and into the toes, to pull on the toes. This drag on the corner of the arch toward the small toes you. Again, like tendons on one side of the leg pull one way, the tendon at the top of trying to pull the other way, making bending in the hinge or hammertoes.

In some cases, putting orthotics in your shoes can slow or stop the improvement of your hammertoe’s deformity.

See a podiatrist in Towson for evaluation or go to your local sporting goods store and try some orthotics over-the-counter first. Make sure this is not too big, which will cause your shoes are becoming more stringent and more comfortable against your hammertoes.